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German involvement in the Spanish Civil War


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The Spanish Civil War

German involvement in the Spanish Civil War of 1936 commenced with the outbreak of war in July 1936, with Adolf Hitler immediately sending in powerful air and armored units to assist General Francisco Franco and his Nationalist forces. The Soviet Union sent in smaller forces to assist the Republican government, while Britain and France and two dozen other countries set up an embargo on any munitions or soldiers into Spain. Germany also signed the embargo but simply ignored it. The war provided combat experience with the latest technology for the German military. However, the intervention also posed the risk of escalating into a world war for which Hitler was not ready. He therefore limited his aid, and instead encouraged Mussolini to send in large Italian units. Franco's Nationalists were victorious; he remained officially neutral in the Second World War, but helped the Axis in various ways from 1940 to 1943. The Spanish episode lasted three years and was a smaller-scale prelude to the world war which broke out in 1939.
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